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Traveling for Locum Tenens Work? Try These 5 Tips for Healthier Eating

Posted by VISTA Staffing on Sep 24, 2018 9:15:00 AM

Healthy living is important for everyone, regardless of whether you are working in a permanent or temporary role. But when you’re on assignment in a new location for locum tenens work, it can be difficult to stick to your healthy eating habits. But it’s still important to maintain a healthy diet while you’re away. Follow these five travel tips to healthier eating when working locum tenens.

Maintain a Well Balanced Diet

Life as a locum tenens physician can be demanding, and you need to make sure your body is functioning properly in order to effectively provide care for your patients. Eating at least three balanced meals each day can help by ensuring you get the proper nutrition to maintain a healthy weight, boost energy, promote good sleep, and feel good overall.

A balanced meal should include one food from each food group: dairy, vegetables, fruits, grains, and protein. For help with preparing meals, we recommend using the Plate Method. This method is a surefire way to get the nutrients you need while on the road.

Avoid Fast Food

When you are in a new location, dining at fast food restaurants may seem like the most convenient option. After all, you’re probably already familiar with their menus and products. However, the better option is to choose a hotel with a kitchen or kitchenette, and stock up on healthy foods at the nearest grocery store. Alternatively, choose healthy meals that you can prepare without a kitchen, such as Greek salad or smoked salmon. If you do opt for a fast food meal or snack, do so sparingly and try to choose healthier menu items that are low in sugar, sodium, and calories.

Be Mindful About Snacking

In a recent blog post about how to get better sleep when working locum tenens, we reminded clinicians  that evening snacking can impact sleep quality. Eating spicy foods can cause unstable sleep, while eating foods with caffeine - including chocolate - can make it hard to fall asleep.

Of course, the snacks you choose throughout the day can also impact your health when working locum tenens. Consider packing your own healthy snacks, such as nuts or fruits, that you can grab while on a quick break.

Don’t Be Afraid to Customize the Menu

Trying the local fare can be an exciting part of working locum tenens, but don’t be afraid to ask restaurants to make menu substitutions or to prepare dishes differently to cut down on calories or saturated fats. You can also avoid the health risks that can come from eating out too frequently simply by opting for baked entrees over fried versions, and by taking half your meal in a to-go box to be enjoyed the next day.

Don’t Have a Vacation Mindset

Finally, remember that you can continue eating healthy during your locum tenens assignment, no matter how long or short in duration. For many people like locum tenens physicians who travel for work or who work in new locations for months at a time, it’s tempting to treat the assignment like a vacation. However, being in a locum tenens role for six months is a lot different than traveling somewhere for a week or two. Eating and drinking to your heart’s content regularly can have negative repercussions for your long-term health.

Do you have additional travel tips for eating better that we can share with other locum tenens professionals? Share them with us today!

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Topics: VISTA, Locum Tenens Work


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About VISTA Staffing Solutions

VISTA Staffing Solutions has over thirty years of experience providing award-winning customer service to clients and providers alike. Headquartered in Salt Lake City with additional offices in Atlanta and Houston, and employs approximately 1,000 people between corporate staff and field clinicians and contracts with over 2,500 physicians across 60+ specialties and subspecialties. VISTA helps U.S. hospitals, medical practices, and government agencies optimize their physician staffing, ensure quality and continuity of care for patients, and maintain financial stability. As a leading provider of U.S. Locum Tenens and Permanent Physician Search Services, VISTA also operates VISTA Select, a first-of-its-kind technology and services solution utilizing advanced data and analytics to provide healthcare organizations with customizable workforce optimization solutions.